Ideally, you began saving for retirement when you became employed for the first time. If you did not, however, it’s no reason to panic. It turns out that most people don’t start saving for retirement right away, which puts you way behind in terms of your financial future. While it might seem hopeless to you if you are well into your 20s or even your 30s, there is no reason to worry. You can still catch up on your retirement savings, but you do have to take a few dedicated leaps designed to help you further your goals and minimize your financial obligations. Here’s how to get ahead on retirement when you are already a bit behind.
Take advantage of company match
The best way to save as much as possible is to take advantage of the company match program your employer offers. If you are not saving the maximum amount allowed, you are not allowing yourself the chance to earn as much free money from your employer as you can. Now is the time to increase your own contributions so that you get more from your employer.
Pay off debts
Saving for retirement when you have debts to pay off is never going to work. You have to make sure you are able to pay off all your debts and ensure that you have the money necessary to save before you can catch up adequately. Pay them off; make it a goal. Stop living life to the fullest and start paying it off and you’ll go much further.
Buy a smaller home
Are your kids gone? Do you really need 4,000-square feet of living space and a 5-bedroom home if you have no kids at home to use that space? You could sell, downsize and enjoy a much smaller mortgage for a long time if you want to save more toward your retirement.
Get rid of frivolities
So many of us have made it a habit to spend money on things we don’t need. We spend money on things that are not important to us as a way of ensuring we feel good. Sure, that $5 latte is delicious, but what does it really do for you? Does it allow you to enjoy your life the way that you were meant to enjoy it, or does it please you for a second and then you forget all about it? Stop with these things and save that money. It helps.
Some people are afraid of aggressive investments, but don’t be. If you are still young enough to take a hit every so often without it affecting your soon-to-be retirement, go ahead and give it a whirl. It’s possible to be more aggressive now so that you can earn more toward retirement.
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